“To follow Jesus is to be a wholemaker, essentially to love the world into new being and life.” – Ilia Delio
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The tax collectors and sinners were all drawing near to listen to Jesus, but the Pharisees and scribes began to complain, saying, “This man welcomes sinners and eats with them.”
Again we see Jesus hanging out with the “wrong crowd.”
He’s eating with the so-called sinners.
Note that they are “drawing near to listen to Jesus.”
Jesus draws those in need of restoration to himself.
He does not cast them out.
But the Pharisees and scribes, who were holding all to the letter of the law, were unable to understand Jesus’ way of restorative justice.
So he went on to tell them the parable of the lost sheep.
Jesus asks them, “What man among you having a hundred sheep and losing one of them would not leave the ninety-nine in the desert and go after the lost one until he finds it? And when he does find it, he sets it on his shoulders with great joy and, upon his arrival home, he calls together his friends and neighbors and says to them, ‘Rejoice with me because I have found my lost sheep.’
This is a heart-warming story – if you can relate to being the lost sheep!
If, however, you are like the Pharisees and scribes, it would not be so heart-warming.
How economically smart is it to leave the ninety-nine sheep alone in the desert while going off to find one who has broken the rules?
Jesus’ story is like a koan, which is defined as “a paradoxical anecdote or riddle, used in Zen Buddhism to demonstrate the inadequacy of logical reasoning and to provoke enlightenment.”
The question is: Do you relate to being the lost sheep?
Are you someone in need of restoration?
Or do you see yourself as the “ninety-nine righteous people who have no need of repentance” (Luke 15:7)?
Jesus calls us to rejoice with him over the restoration of his lost sheep.
This is only possible when we realize that we are all one body, one human family, and also one with all of God’s creation.
Listen to the song of the day “All Are One” on the Mercy Reigns album by clicking HERE.
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Purchase my new book “Listen to Your Heart: A Daily Devotional of Calling, Purpose and New Life” on Amazon by clicking HERE.
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Remember: God loves you!